Networking is pretty important for professionals, especially early in their careers. What is networking? It can and should mean many things. There are conferences and tradeshows where you can meet or be introduced to others in your industry. You don’t have to be a hand-squeezing politician. Just be yourself. There will be social gatherings at most of those events. Try to attend those, and… be yourself. There are a lot of other events of these types. College alumni functions. Local or state chapter meetings of professional societies. Social media (can you tell that LinkedIn is my favorite?)
Why is it important to network? Think of it like a 401k for your career. If you start contributing to a 401k early in your wage-earning career and contribute increasing amounts as your earnings grow, you can increase your wealth and hopefully you can retire comfortably. The same thing can happen to your career, using networking. By growing a network, you can build a safety net that will provide you with stability as your career develops.
Albert Einstein said that compound interest was mankind’s greatest invention (if he didn’t say that, then please don’t quote me). Networking is like compound interest. A decade from now, your investment will be paid back tenfold.
What are you waiting for? Get networking?